What are you reading?

by: Kiera Manion-Fischer // theburr.com

First, an introduction. My name is Kiera. I’m a senior newspaper journalism and political science major here at Kent State. So, it might make sense that I decided to blog about politics and literature.

More specifically, my contributions will be about how political developments at the federal, state and local level affect Kent State students. I included literature as well because I love reading. Everyone should read more. I might write about Ohio’s new gambling rules or my take on Anna Karenina

I doubt Sarah Palin reads enough. Even though she said she reads all newspapers and magazines in her famous interview with Katie Couric. Political ideologies aside, I wish I had enough time to read every newspaper and magazine that exists.

 For my first entry, I thought I’d talk about what I read regularly because I think that says a lot about someone’s character, and I have a larger point about how our generation reads newspapers.

 When the print version of anything is freely available somehow, I’ll read it , because I prefer reading newspapers and magazines in print as opposed to online. My concentration is better when I have it on the page in front of me instead of on a screen. However, I still can’t bring myself to fork over the money for print subscriptions because I know it’s also freely available on the Web. I’m sure this says something about the problems plaguing the newspaper industry.

 Last fall, when I was at Kent State, I usually glanced through the print versions of all our local newspapers: the Record-Courier, the Plain Dealer and The Akron Beacon Journal. I have to admit, I was usually looking for inspiration for story ideas of my own. I tried to read over all the headlines and maybe an article or two over coffee every morning. That is, only if I wasn’t rolling out of bed and going straight to class. My parents subscribe to all those newspapers. Yes I live at home, so I don’t pay for any of them.

I used to be addicted to Facebook, Twitter and FMyLife as well. All that counts as reading. I bet you read them too. Sometimes I learned valuable things from all those sources.

All of that changed for me this summer, which I spent working as a counselor at a Girl Scout camp in Northern Virginia. My cabin didn’t have electricity. So, for the most part, no Internet. Suddenly, Facebook, Twitter and FMLs seemed much less relevant. I was far more concerned about making sure my campers all came home in one piece. (They all did.) The only opportunity to really leave camp came on Saturdays, when we had our day off. I would pay a whopping 75 cents for Saturday’s Washington Post, which I would devour on Sunday morning during my break. What else can you get for that cheap these days? Not much.

 One Saturday, when walking around D.C. on my day off, I was actually surprised by a newsstand headline about Sarah Palin’s resignation. It was such an odd feeling. I had had no chance to learn about it on Twitter the night before. Yes, I follow her Twitter account. I can’t resist. It’s like watching a train wreck. I immediately bought the paper and read it thoroughly.

 Another consolation to me was reading letters from family and friends. Here’s a depressing Post article from a couple Saturdays ago about the decline of the Postal Service.  I hope to continue writing letters during this school year. It’s sad that letter writing feels like a lost art.

What do you read regularly and why? What does that say about you? What else should I be reading? Respond in the comments section.

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